It has been three long years in the making, but pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne is well and truly back with her brand new album ‘Love Sux‘! It is safe to say that Miss Lavigne has come a long way since her ‘Head Above Water’ days of 2019, leaping back headfirst into pop-punk territory yet again. This has definitely been a long time coming for old school Lavigne fans, yearning for the long awaited return of the Avril we all know and love!
It is evidently clear that ‘Love Sux’ has been cleverly crafted to incorporate current musical trends, featuring relevant collaborative partnerships whilst still maintaining a real sense of integrity.
The album starts off with the track ‘Cannonball’, which is a punchy yet anthemic number which intertwines pop-punk and electronic synth elements effortlessly in the first verse. However in true Avril style, the song progresses in a somewhat expected manner with a feisty, energetic chorus which is memorable to say the least. ‘Bois Lie‘ is up next, featuring the very current pop-punk artist/rapper Machine Gun Kelly. Lavigne sings about a past lover that was not always the most honest and truthful throughout their relationship. Saying that, there is a strong sense of optimism and hope that will definitely ring true with a lot of Avril fans. Machine Gun Kelly’s segments in the track also help make it pop above the rest, adding a certain je ne sais quos that some tracks lack.
‘Bite Me’ is one of the promotional singles to come out of ‘Love Sux’, which is an undeniable pop-punk belter. It feels very nostalgic and reminiscent of Avril’s work of the early noughties, certainly pleasing the die hard Lavigne fan back in the day.
‘Love It When You Hate Me’ is very much in the same vein, which is another optimistic yet honest track about one of Lavigne’s past failed romantic relationships. Blackbear’s vocal injection was definitely a risk, but it ultimately paid off well. Next up is the self-titled track ‘Love Sux‘, which is one of the highlights of the album. The production is just great, with the use of infectious guitar riffs not to mention a real sing-worthy chorus.
‘Kiss Me Like The World Is Ending’ gives us a slight shift in lyrical content, speaking about her current boyfriend Mod Sun. Lavigne is heartfelt and real in singing about her love for him and their relationship; ‘I wanted to capture the magical feeling about having one of those kisses that you never want to end. It’s about being caught up in that special moment that you really want to hang onto.’ ‘Avalanche’ also tackles the very personal topic of mental health with Lavigne singing in the chorus ‘I say that I’m just fine, but I don’t feel alright on the inside / I say that I’m okay, but I don’t feel okay right now, no / I’ve been slippin’ and slidin’, my world’s getting colder / I’m tired of lookin’ over my shoulder / Tonight, I don’t feel alright on the inside / It’s like I’m runnin’ from an avalanche.’ Lavigne spoke about the meaning of the track stating; ‘We all go through rough patches or have bad days…this song is about not feeling your best and knowing you have to pick yourself up and keep going.’
‘Déjà vu’ is another pop-punk banger in which Lavigne sings about not being able to communicate clearly in the past with her exes; ‘This is the classic story of going around in circles and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere. You have to be able to move forward and communicate in relationships. If you’re not moving forward, it feels like déjà vu. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned people don’t change and you can’t expect them to.’ ‘F.U.’ is another honest, energetic belter of a track which is undoubtedly catchy from start to finish. It is most certainly relatable and a song to scream out loud when you have finally broke free from a toxic relationship! ‘All I Wanted’ is the third and final collaboration on ‘Love Sux‘, this time with Blink-182 royalty Mark Hoppus. This is a strong pairing that will make old Avril fans cry out in exclamation! Even though it could be classed as an underrated number, it still deserves its place on the album.
‘Dare to Love Me’ is another emotional yet strong track from Lavigne, which most certainly shows her vulnerable side. Musically speaking, the song speaks lyrically about whether she is ready to open up and fall in love again or not, pleading with her next lover in question that he should only tell her that he loves her if he really means it. The final track on the album comes in the form of ‘Break Of A Heartache’, which is a powerful number about Lavigne not risking anything and being scared to fall in love again in case of potential heartache.
Overall, ‘Love Sux’ is a real mixed bag of powerful, impactful and memorable belters combined with relatable tracks that wouldn’t feel out of place on 2008’s ‘The Best Damn Thing’. It is definitely an album that was to be expected from Lavigne, whether you like it or not. ‘Love Sux’ features five or six memorable highlight tracks including ‘Break Of A Heartache‘ and ‘Bite Me‘, but it feels as though the rest of the album is just filler, unfortunately.
‘Love Sux’ is out now via Elektra Records.